Tuesday, August 27, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Eyewitness made accused in rape case; arrested
‘Hired actors’ in plot to frame Lancer man
Tribune News Service


  • A HARYANA BUREAUCRAT: N.K. Jain, a former Home Secretary of the UT; the police is trying to find his link to the case.
  • BUREAUCRAT’S CONTACT: Ram Lal; the police says that he hatched the plot.
  • THE EYEWITNESSES: Surinder Sharma and Baldev Kumar, who had allegedly been hired by Ram Lal to frame M.K. Jain.
  • THE GIRL: Reportedly, sedated and physically used by Surinder Sharma, who had, later, become an eyewitness.

Chandigarh, August 26
With the arrest of the main eyewitness, Surinder Sharma, the Shimla-girl rape case took a new turn here today. Surinder has been charged with hatching this “plot” to extort money from M.K. Jain, who was the prime suspect, so far. The other eyewitness, Baldev Kumar, is on the run.

On the day of the incident, Surinder and Baldev had called up the police control room (PCR) to report that a girl had been thrown out of car near the Sector 33 petrol-filling station. The police, however, suspected a man called Ram Lal (who has good relations with a senior bureaucrat of Haryana) to have made this plan to frame Jain. The police says that Ram Lal had promised to pay Rs 2 lakh each to Surinder Sharma and the girl for their help. It was he who had got Surinder Sharma released from the CIA custody on assurance that he would produce him the next day.

The police is said to have absolved Jain of the rape charge. “Jain never met the girl; and the Mitsubitshi Lancer car, in which the girl claims to have been raped, figured nowhere in the incident. The identity of the person who had had physical contact with the girl would be established on the basis of forensic evidence,” said a police official.

The police has conducted raids at various places to arrest Baldev, who had been the other eyewitness, so far. The Deputy Superintendent of Police (South), Mr S.C. Sagar, said details of the conspiracy could be known only after Surinder’s interrogation. Sources said Rs 20 lakh was to be distributed among the actors in the plot.

The plan was supposed to be executed on August 13, but the execution had to be delayed till August 14 to make sure that nothing went wrong. the girl was shown the owner of Kodak Computer Centre, M.K. Jain. Surinder had reportedly made the girl consume some sleeping pills to make her unconscious.

At the Burail house of Surinder, his wife, Krishna Sharma, said her husband had been picked up from near Hotel Aroma in Sector 22 late yesterday. She went to the Sector 36 police station and the Sector 26 Operation Cell to known where he had been taken. She had no luck.

Surinder’s family said he had been forced to sign a statement of confession after being taken away by a police party led by a DSP. Reportedly, a journalist had called Surinder to the spot from where he was picked up. Sharma’s confession will be of little importance if the Central Forensic Science Laboratory report proves that the semen traces on the girl’s clothes came from Jain. So far, the investigating officials say that the semen is of Surinder. The forensic test of the Lancer is also expected to give many clues.

The police has added charges under Sections 389 and 120-B of the IPC to the case that has already been registered at the Sector 34 police station. After the arrest of an eyewitness, the girl’s statement would, now, be crucial. Like in a year-old case where a minor girl had accused five local hoteliers of raping her, this girl, too, might have to withdraw her statement.

M.K. Jain was in the Punjab and Haryana High Court today for obtaining an anticipatory bail, soon after Surinder’s confession to the police. This shows that he might be in contact with the investigating officials. The police was to file its report in the High Court today.

Three days ago, Surinder Sharma, at a press conference, had said that an Inspector of the Chandigarh police had been grilling him at the CIA office to force him to name a Haryana bureaucrat and a former Home Secretary of the UT, Mr N.K. Jain. In spite of the contradictory statements of the eyewitness and the girl, Surinder was arrested after 12 days of it, which raises suspicion. Reportedly, Surinder was arrested after the police had already “contacted” M.K. Jain.



Rape victim's lawyer seeks to withdraw 
power of attorney
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
Adding a new twist to the ongoing controversy, the human rights lawyer who had taken up the case of a Shimla district resident allegedly raped after losing her consciousness, today sought permission to withdraw his power of attorney even as prime accused, along with the prime witness in the case, moved court.

Taking up the petition seeking the grant of anticipatory bail filed by prime accused M.K. Jain, Mr Justice K.S. Garewal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court asked him to apply before the Sessions Court.

Acting on another petition filed by witness Surinder Sharma, Mr Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel issued notice of motion to the UT counsel for September 26.

On the third petition filed by the alleged victim, Mr Justice Ashutosh Mohunta permitted the counsel to withdraw from the case.

Claiming to have been harassed for not naming Mr N.K. Jain as an accomplice, Mr Surinder Singh had earlier contended that the cops, present at the CIA staff in Sector 11, were asked to strip him. After he refused to comply with their wishes, he was kicked and thrashed by two inspectors.

It may be recalled that the alleged victim, in her petition, had earlier sought directions to the respondents to protect her life and liberty. Accusing the Chandigarh police of unnecessarily harassing her, the petitioner further asked for directions to transfer the case to the CBI.

The police, she claimed, had “failed to react and investigate the matter in a proper and an effective manner”. The delay in investigation, she submitted, was “facilitating the criminal”.

Giving details, she had stated that the “investigation was being handled by a probationary sub inspector”. This, she added, “went a long way to show the seriousness with which the police was handling the matter”.

Claiming to be just 21, the petitioner had submitted that she had boarded the car of Sector 8 resident M.K. Jain from Sector 20 on August 14 but had lost consciousness after consuming a cold drink purchased by him. Later, she had found herself unconscious in Sector 16 General Hospital where she came to know about the incidence of violence against her.

Going into the background of the case, the petitioner had added that her search for a part-time job and quest for knowledge about computers had brought her in contact with the accused, running a computer institute. The accused, after alluring her with the promise of a job, had taken her in his car from his Sector 20 office, she further added.

Arguing on her behalf, the counsel for the petitioner had stated that Mr Surinder Sharma had seen the petitioner being thrown out of a car at around 11 pm that day and had reported the matter to the police.

Justifying the action of a human rights body, Lawyers for Human Rights International, in taking her away from the General Hospital, the counsel asserted that the petitioner had requested members of the association to “help her in securing her life and liberty”.

He had added that the petitioner “left the hospital against the wishes of the doctors as she was nursing the feeling that they were not relieving her under the pressure of the Chandigarh police”. 



Schools may sign contracts with bus operators
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
The ice just might be beginning to break. Relief is in sight for harried parents juggling between their workplaces and children’s schools with these institutions considering contracts with bus operators.

Though this is expected to take about a week, one of the principals would meet the Secretary, State Transport Authority, to adopt a lenient approach in fining erring buses in the interest of the student community. A week’s relaxation would be sought to resolve the matter.

Six city school, Saupin’s, St Kabir, Bhawan Vidyalaya, Sacred Heart senior Secondary School, St John’s and Carmel Convent, which had no transport contracts till date and transport arrangements were between parents and transporters, have given the first indication that they are ready to get into an agreement.

However, this, they say, would come only after certain modifications are made to safeguard the interest of the schools in question. “We have suggested that the terms and conditions of the contract should be such that the schools are not penalised for any incident outside the school premises. We will take up our recommendations with the bus contractors’ association,” says Mr JP Singh, Principal of St Kabir.

He added that the Administration, too, should step in and define the terms of contract. “We have no clue about how to proceed and have procured a copy of the contract on our own. Some administrative agency should be involved to diffuse the situation instead of sitting back and watching things flare up,” he explained. At an informal meeting attended by principals of St Kabir, Sacred Heart as well as St John’s, the new terms of contract came up for discussion.

St John’s Principal, Ms P Cheema, said that in the face of no alternative for school, the matter would be discussed with the Brothers and Superiors of the school before a final decision. “This would take a couple of days and we are hopeful a solution would be worked out,” she informed. Similarly, Sister Elsy of Sacred Heart said the final decision rested with her superiors and that she could not comment on the matter. The president of the Independent Schools Association, Mr DS Bedi, who also attended the meeting, said the schools which could not be contacted were also sent a copy of the contract.

It maybe recalled that the Bus Contractors Association had said that they would not ferry students of schools who were not ready to enter into a contract with them.

Meanwhile, bursting at their seams, city roads outside schools were a mess this afternoon when schools got over. Though the situation is likely to ease in a couple of days, the bus contractors said no buses would be plied for schools without contracts with them tomorrow as well.

Despite this decision taken at a meeting held in the evening, things would improve tomorrow since most of the buses impounded by the STA have been handed over to the transporters, the president of the Bus Contractors Association, Mr Manjit Singh, said.

“The authorities have reduced our fines and have softened their stand. All buses expect those of schools without contract would ply as usual,” he added.

However, today confusion reigned supreme as parents descended at the schools to collect their wards. For over 45 minutes after school, the road in Sector 26 remained choked with traffic, the vehicles moving at a snail’s pace.

While Sacred Heart and St John’s allowed parents to collect their wards from inside the school premises. Sacred Heart even allowed parents to take their children back home anytime after 1 pm to avoid a jam on the roads.

To skip the bottleneck, most students of St John’s left through the side gate of the school. Outside Bhawan Vidyalaya in Sector 27, it was a repeat of the scene in Sector 26 as was the case in other schools as well, most buses impounded by the STA for not adhering to directs of the Supreme court.

The morning also saw parents leaving their children to schools with no bus service available. 



Bansal files complaint against BJP leaders
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
Congress national secretary Pawan Bansal has filed a complaint with the local police against BJP national secretary Om Prakash Dhankar and its national executive member Satyapal Jain along with others accusing them of trespassing on his land, hurting religious sentiments and intimidating his staff.

The Sector 39 police station has received the complaint and preliminary inquiry into the matter is going on for converting the DDR into an FIR by tomorrow, the police told The Tribune tonight.

Others named in the complaint are local BJP president Yashpal Mahajan, leader of the BJP in the local municipal corporation Kamla Sharma, former Councillor Kanhaya Lal Sharma and Purushottum Mahajan.

The complaint filed last night was against the BJP leaders burning effigies of AICC President Sonia Gandhi, her Political Secretary Ambika Soni and local MP Pawan Bansal at the site allotted to the Heritage Society governed by Mr Bansal and Ms Soni for setting up Delhi Public School in Sector 40 C.

The BJP local unit president Yashpal Mahajan said: “We held a protest on the land, purified it by sprinkling Sukhna Lake water, burnt effigies and would make it a national issue for the involvement of the Congress leaders.”

Mr Mahajan welcomed the filing of the criminal complaint saying that the trespassing was not there as there was no boundary wall erected on the allotted land.

The Congress unit in the city has also geared up to take on the BJP on the issue by demanding the arrest of the BJP leaders involved in this “criminal” act.

Mr Bansal in his complaint as the Secretary of the Heritage Society narrated the incident saying:

“They forcibly extinguished the havan fire after Ms Soni and Mr Bansal had performed their bhoomi pooja by pouring muddy water and trampled upon it.”

The complaint said the BJP activists led by Mr Sharma shouted at watchman Ram Sukh and said if he did not leave the place his head “will be broken.”

Mr Bansal said Mr Ram Sukh had been left at the site for taking care of the havan fire, ashes and tents pitched their and when he ran away from the place after being threatened, the BJP activists indulged in vandalism.

The local MP said these leaders later again assembled and burnt his effigy and those of Ms Gandhi and Ms Soni over the havan kund, shouted abusive slogans against the Congress leaders and took away tents pitched on the site.

The leader of the Congress in the local municipal corporation Subhash Chawla, Councillor Pardeep Chhabra, Kamaljit Panchhi and the Rajiv Memorial Society have condemned the incident and demanded the immediate arrest of the BJP leaders.

The Congress has also called a meeting tomorrow to plan an agitation to press for the arrest of the BJP leaders and registration of a case.

Mr Mahajan said the BJP would also fight it out politically to “expose the Congress.”



Vigilance raid on MC office
Our correspondent

SAS Nagar, August 26
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau raided the office of the Municipal Council here this evening and arrested three persons on charges of corruption.

It is alleged that a sum of Rs 20,000 was recovered from an employee by a team of officials headed by Mr Zora Singh Brar, DSP. He was accompanied by Mr Surjit Singh Khosa, another DSP.

The arrested persons — S.K. Gulati, accountant, Rajinder Singh, sanitary inspector, and Padam Kumar, a clerk — were taken to the Phase VIII police station and a case was registered against them.

The raid was conducted at 4.40 p.m. and the entire office was sealed. The VB officials entered the office building from the backdoor while the security personnel kept guarding the office from the front. Mr Harinder Pal Singh and Mr Prem Singh, SDO and JE, respectively, of the Punjab Drainage Department, were taken as witnesses.

The complainant, Mr Vishal Bharti, had entered the office some time before the raid and handed over the numbered currency notes to one of the employees.

It is alleged that the amount was recovered from the pockets of the pants of Rajinder Singh.

Mr Bharti of Bharti Associates, Chandigarh, said the council owed him Rs 2.11 lakh. On June7, he had deposited Rs 1.31 lakh as earnest money for getting a part of the sanitation work of the council on contract. However, he could not get the contract.

Last year he was looking after the sanitation work in Sector 70. At that time also, a sum of Rs 40,500 as earnest money and Rs 42,193 as part of payment were still pending with the council. He said he had visited the civic body office many times but the payment was not being made. He said he even met the president of the council on August 16.

Mr Bharti alleged that on August 19, he went to the accountant’s room where Padam Kumar was also sitting. He alleged that they both asked him to give them Rs 20,000 which would be distributed among officials and the president, in case he wanted to get the payment released. He said he told them he did not have the money to make the payment. They then gave him a cheque for Rs 42,193 saying that he could give them Rs 20,000 after getting the cheque encashed.

Mr Kulwant Singh, president of the Municipal Council, said the allegations levelled against him were baseless. He was being made a target as he had blacklisted some sanitation contractors because of unsatisfactory work. He said Mr Bharti had met me on August 16 and the same day a cheque was issued.

This is the second time that the civic body office is being raided by vigilance officials. Earlier, a raid was conducted on March 1997 and two employees were caught red-handed accepting a bribe of Rs 11,200.



Typhoid scare after two deaths
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
After cholera, it’s the fear of typhoid that has spread in the Sector 52 Kajheri Colony. Many of the persons living there have been showing symptoms of typhoid for the past one week. The Director Health Services, Dr Rameshwar Chander, however, denies that two children of Sector 52 have died due to typhoid.

“While 11-year-old Rajiv had disseminated sepsis, the other patient, Deepa, had thrombocytopaenia and eneteric encephalopathy,” said Dr Chander about the dead. He also said Dr J.K. Kalra, Nodal Officer of the NSPCD, had visited Sector 52 today with his rapid-response medical team that included Dr Rajeev Khaneja and Dr Anil Garg, besides the other members. “In a door-to-door survey there, 1,200 persons were examined in the colony that has 1,700 houses, with a population of about 10,000,” he said.

“Out of 112 persons that were found to be ill, 80 had been having fever for the past one to seven days, while 32 persons had diarrhoea-like diseases. After prescribing treatment, the team took blood samples and would revisit the patients tomorrow. Everyone in the colony has been asked to drink only boiled water,” said Dr Chander. The health authorities said seven persons had been admitted to various hospitals here with gastroenteritis, while one of them, admitted to the GMCH, was suspected to be having cholera. He had been tested for the disease.

Two deaths in Sector 52 last month have spread panic there. Persons of the colony say that Rajiv and Deepa died of typhoid that could not be diagnosed in time by local doctors. By the time the children had been moved to the hospital, it had been too late.

The PGI doctors in the Department of Community Medicine said typhoid should be treated within three weeks to avoid complications. “The delay causes gastrointestinal complications and affects the brain,” said doctors.

The Municipal Council said here today that, while the water samples taken from the distribution system conformed to the norms, the samples from hand-pumps had been found unfit for drinking. This water should be used only for washing and bathing. The Municipal Commissioner, Mr M.P. Singh, said water was being supplied through tankers to the affected settlements here and water tanks had also been installed at some places. Chlorine tablets have been distributed in these areas.

Mr Singh said a survey was being conducted to detect illegal water connections, as these led to contamination. “So far, eight such connections have been removed and the FIRs have been lodged against the defaulters for puncturing the water-supply lines,” he said.



Cong accuses BJP of sacrilege
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
The Congress here today accused the BJP’s local unit of indulging in “Ravan like acts while claiming to be devotees of Ram.”

“Demons used to desecrate havan kund and pujas of people during the “Ravan Raj” and the BJP workers did the same yesterday on the school site allotted to the Heritage Society sprinkling dirty water of Sukhna over the havan kund, kicking it and taking away the ash,” leader of the Congress, Mr Subhash Chawla, told reporters at a press conference in the presence of Mr Pawan Bansal.

Mr Chawla alleged that 3 lakh bricks collected in 1992 for the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya were used in the construction of the BJP office, Kamlam and the BJP should dismantle its office to show that the bricks had not been “misused.”

Joined by the Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi, Mr Bansal said those seeking votes in the name of Ram had not cared for the religious sanctity of a havan and holy water from Ganga in their crass political pursuit.

The Chandigarh Vikas Manch councillor, Mr Vijay Rana, was also present in the press conference.

Mr Chawla appealed to religious persons in the city to judge the “despicable” vandalism of the BJP senior leaders against their claim of upholding Hindus’ religious sentiments.

Mr Bansal said there was nothing secret in the ceremony and warned the BJP leaders of “paying them back in the same coin in future.”

He dared them to repeat the action at the foundation stone ceremony.

Mr Bansal and Mr Chawla justified the Mayor’s decision to use marshals to get BJP councillors Kamla Sharma and Gian Chand Gupta removed from the House after their suspension for “intentionally disturbing” the proceedings of the House.

Mr Chawla said the BJP councillors, both of whom had been Mayors, came 15 minutes late and without listening to the discussion on encroachment that was in progress, started shouting to demand the tabling of report on cholera despite Mayor’s request to speak when their turn comes.

The Congress leader in the House said the Mayor did not deny them opportunity to speak on the issue but the BJP members themselves failed to bring an adjournment motion despite having the requisite support of four members.

The BJP leaders had already announced their intention to disrupt the House proceedings in newspapers and had even brought placards to the House which showed their intention, Mr Chawla said.

He said had the BJP leaders brought an adjournment motion, the Congress would have stood by them in demanding an explanation from officers on the re-occurrence of cholera in the city.

Mr Chawla said the Mayor, a custodian of interests of all councillors, was duty-bound to go as per the will of the majority of members.

The Mayor said she had invited criticism from the Congress, Chandigarh Vikas Manch and nominated members on allowing the two BJP members more time than their share according to the party strength, which was reflected in all sections approving their suspension. She said the House had already discussed the issue for seven-and-a-half hours in the last sitting.

Mr Chawla said the BJP through the Central Government had linked the release of grants to the hike in water charges.

He said the BJP had not tabled reports of five scams during its term and one of the Mayors had to return gifts taken from a company in front of the Finance and Contract Committee.



Many join BJP
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 26
The local unit of the Bharatiya Janta Party today claimed that a large number of activists of the Shiv Sena Rashtriyavadi Party of Chandigarh (SSRP) along with its president today joined the BJP.

As per a press release issued in the name of Mr T.R Kapoor, SSRP president, Mr Narinder Chaudhary, along with hundreds of his party workers joined the BJP. They were welcomed by BJP unit president Yash Pal Mahajan, BJP leader Satya Pal Jain and member of Ad hoc Committee Purshotam Mahajan.

Meanwhile, the local unit of the BJYM, Mandal 19, burnt the effigy of the Senior Deputy Mayor of the MCC, the local MP and the AICC President to protest against the “failure” of the Congress-led MCC to develop the city. Among others who were present on the occasion were Ms Kamala Sharma, former Mayor, Mr. Purshotam Mahajan, Mr Satinder Singh, president of local unit of the BJYM, Mr Rajinder Shama, executive member of the unit, Mr Sulekh Chand Jain, district general secretary of the BJP and Mr Jagtar Singh, mandal president of the BJP.



DCC meeting
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, August 26
A meeting of the District Congress Committee(DCC) ended in tense atmosphere here this afternoon. Supporters of Ms Sheelam Sohi, a member of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), boycotted the meeting called by Mr Hardyal Kamboj, president of the DCC, amidst slogans and protests.

The problem started after a member of another group mentioned Ms Sohi's name in some issue, after which her supporters objected and started raising slogans.

Tension prevailed at the venue and the agitators gheraoed Mr R.R. Bhardwaj, Deputy Chairman of the State Planing Board, who was presiding over the meeting. Security guards had to escort him to a safer place.



Confusion over Janmashtami date
Monica Sharma


  • When to celebrate the occasion? That is the question being faced by the residents.
  • About 40 temples in the city are holding celebrations on August 30. ISKCON and Gaudiya Math are celebrating the festival the next day.
  • Confusion follows from the use of different calendars.
  • Holiday will be observed on August 30 in Punjab and Chandigarh.

Chandigarh, August 26
‘Dharam sankat’ — that is what believers in city are facing. Some say Janmashtami is on August 30, while others insist that the birthday of Lord Krishna falls the next day.

If holiday is an indicator, August 30 is the day residents should be thronging the temples in their festive best to pay obeisance. Majority of the temples in the city — as many as 40 — are holding functions on that day. The process of decorating temples has already started. Lights are beings installed and floors washed. But if religious leaders at ISKCON and Gaudiya Math are to be listened to, Janmashtami is on August 31.

The reason behind the confusion is not very hard to see. Nand Maharaj Dass of ISKCON says: "We follow the Vaishno calender. According to our calculations, the day begins with sunrise, so Janmashtami falls on August 31". Others believe that the new day beings at 12 mid night.

Giving details, Mr Onkar Nath Sharma, who is associated with Sector 18 temple, says, "For us, Janmashtami will start around 4 pm on August 30 and will continue till next day evening. As the birth took place at 12 mid night, celebrations will be held on August 30".

"Most of the temples affiliated with the Hindu Parav Maha Sabha, including the ones in Sectors 22, 19 and 18, have decided to hold celebrations on August 30", he says.

"This is not the first time that such a confusion has arisen. It happens after every three or four years”, he adds.

But what should you do? Celebrate the occasion on August 30 or the next day? Well, you can do what Ms Seema of Sector 33 is doing. Celebrate the function on both days. "I do not see why residents are creating so much of hue and cry about nothing," she asserts. “They can celebrate the occasion on both days". She adds: "I, and my husband, will install a ‘jhoola’ on August 30 and will prepare ‘parshad’ on the same day. But we will visit the Sector 20 temple on both the days”.

Agreeing with her, her husband adds: “We do not believe in taking chances, especially when religion is involved. Who knows what will please the gods and what will earn their wrath”.



Discrimination irks kin of gallantry award winners

Many widows of gallantry award winners are sore over the dirty game that the politicians play with them. They say “a gallantry award should have the same value, irrespective of the fact whether it was won in operation Rakshak, Vijay or Parakram”. The recent decision of the government to cancel all allotments of petrol pumps and LPG agencies, sparing only the Operation Vijay widows/dependents from this blow, has cast a spell of gloom over the discriminated widows/dependents of the other gallantry award winners.

The political pandits of the day in their vain effort to glorify themselves for the Kargil victory have gone down in the eyes of the soldiering community whose minds are already agitated over the sad discrimination between the awardees of different periods. The right decision, they say, would have been not to cancel any such allotments made on the basis of sacrifices made by the soldiers to safeguard the integrity of the country. It is still not too late for the government to right the wrong done to the widows/dependents of the war heroes.

Brig. Mohinder Singh (retd), President of the Indian Ex-Services League, New Delhi, was asked by a non-operation Vijay widow living in a house just opposite the house of a Kargil widow in a Gurdaspur village: “Have the bullets also started playing political games?

Command Hospital’s work culture

Having been impressed by the new work culture of the Command Hospital, Chandimandir, Headquarters Western Command felt that to ensure clientele satisfaction, all military hospitals in Western Command, including Army Hospital Delhi Cantonment, should adopt this culture. The result was that commandants of all the hospitals were shown the working of this hospital on August 12.

Never before has any hospital been able to deliver the X-Ray film with radiologist’s report to the patients on the day the X-Ray is taken.

Nor is the blood examination report given to the patients the same day. But now every patient visiting the Command Hospital for any test, gets the report on the day of his visit. There used to be a long waiting list for ultrasound and normally a patient had to wait for about a fortnight for his turn. There is no waiting list now and ultrasound is done and report given to the patient on the same day.

This writer spent the better part of a day last week at the Command Hospital to see all this and much more happening there for the satisfaction of the patients. At 11.30 a.m. ultrasound of 50 patients and X-Rays of 96 patients had been done. Apart from this, blood samples of 150 patients had been taken at one of the testing places. The hospital provides breakfast as well as lunch to the out patients who like to have these meals. And on an average 25 patients make use of this facility everyday.

Surprisingly, no out patient department (OPD) had any one waiting at 12.30 p.m. barring a few patients at the cardiology OPD. More on this in the next column.

Protect soldiers’ properties

The item “court cases” in this column of August 13, has drawn quick response from both serving and retired defence personnel. What was mentioned under this title was that the Punjab Government had issued instructions to the administrative secretaries, heads of departments and deputy commissioners that the court cases of serving defence personnel should be heard expeditiously and disposed of speedily during their leave.

Most of the affected serving personnel say that when the opposing parties come to know that they have come on leave to pursue their court cases, they make sure that the cases are adjourned on one pretext or another.

The ex-servicemen say that after a long absence from home when they come on pension to live in their own houses and get hold of their land and other property, they are totally disillusioned to discover that the possession of their properties had shifted to their unscrupulous kin.

There are some cases where these people even manage to produce false and fake power of attorneys and affidavits to grab soldiers’ properties during their absence from the scene. The state governments would do well to issue instructions to the departments concerned to investigate all such cheating cases, when reported to them, expeditiously.

During the British regime, soldiers’ properties were protected by the government. But now in our own “Raj” soldiers lose their properties during their service.

Silver trophy

The Chief of the Army Staff’s Silver Trophy was presented by General S. Padmanabhan (COAS) to III Infantry Battalion (TA) which has been adjudged the best TA battalion for the year 2001-2002, the other day.

This trophy was instituted by the former Chief of the Army Staff General K.S. Thimmayya in 1958.

Pritam Bhullar



Yushita stable and out of danger
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
The painful ordeal of seeing his daughter battle for life seems to be getting over for Mr Roop Kumar Dalal, as eight-year-old Yushita, who sustained serious head injuries, is well on her way to recovery at the emergency of the PGI.

A class II student at the Sacred Heart School, Yushita had been admitted to the PGI after the school van in which she was travelling, met with an accident. “We have heaved a sigh of relief as her fever has also come to the base line, and she is recovering fast,” remarked Mr Dalal and his wife, who have been by her side, ever since tragedy struck the family. Doctors operated upon Yushita to remove the clot formation that had developed in her brain, following the accident.

Mr Dalal said that today Yushita has been cheerful and made enquires about her school friends as she is very eager to get back to school. The worried look on the face of relatives and well-wishers of the Kashmiri family, who were always by the side of the Dalal couple, is gone as they are now reassured that within no time Yushita will be prancing around with other children at school.

Though still at the PGI emergency, doctors said that the condition of Yushita was stable and she was out of danger.



Cycle rally for world peace
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
The Regional Tibetan Youth Congress and the Tibetan Freedom Movement in collaboration with the Yuva Sankalp Sangathan jointly organised a cycle rally here today for world peace and harmony.

The rally was also aided by the Bharat Tibet Sahyog Manch.

The rally was flagged off by Dr R.C.Sobti, Dean, Foreign Students’ of Panjab University, from the Students centre. The rally comprised more than 100 students which included Tibetans and a few foreigners besides local students. The rally concluded at Plaza, Sector 17.

Mr Gurmeet Singh Bajwa, youth coordinator of the Nehru Yuva Kendra, at the conclusion of the rally stressed upon need of youth to participate in promotion of world peace. Sherab Woesar, president of the RTYC, called for an end to exploitation of human rights in Tibet.



Threat on kundi connections
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
The action committee of Labour Colony No. 4 yesterday threatened to fill jails if any of the colony resident was booked for illegal electricity connection.

The general secretary of the committee, Mr Ram Avadh Yadav, said unless the people were provided regular connections, singling out one person would not be tolerated.

Mr Yadav alleged that officials of the Electricity Department had assured them in 1996 when there were clashes between the people and officials that illegal connections would continue till meters were provided to them. Mr Yadav said on September 2, a public court would be held.




Fire in two shops
Our Correspondent

Lalru, August 26
Fire destroyed goods worth thousands of rupees in two shops — confectionary and beauty parlour — in the local market this afternoon.

Residents and shopkeepers of neighbouring area swung into action and controlled the flames within half an hour.

Electric short-circuit is said to the reason of the fire. 



Girl dies of snake bite
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, August 26
The victim of a snake bite, Goldi (14), died in the PGI, Chandigarh, today.

The victim was a resident of Sadhanwala Mohalla and was bitten by a snake on her neck late night while asleep. She was rushed to the PGI by her family members when her condition deteriorated.



Group clash in college; 8 injured
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, August 26
Eight youths were injured, three of them seriously, in a clash between to groups of the local government college students following an altercation on the college premises this after noon.

Daggers, sticks, iron rods and other sharp-edged weapons were used in the clash that took place outside the college campus on the Dera Bassi-Mukandpur road.

Paramjit Singh, who had sustained severe head injuries, was rushed to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, while three others, Muhammad Amzad, Sunil Kumar and Lakhbir Singh, were admitted to the Dera Bassi Civil Hospital.

According to eyewitnesses, members of two groups had entered the college premises in connection with college election campaign. The two groups, belonging to the Congress, exchanged arguments over some issue in front of the office of the college Principal.

Supporters of Amandeep Singh, a candidate for the presidential post, reportedly attacked Muhammad Amzad, Sunil Kumar, Lakhbir Singh and some others, who were outsiders and had come for election campaign.

Paramjit Singh, a member of the Amandeep Singh group, also sustained severe head injuries in the clash. Amandeep Singh was accompanied by Ashok Kumar of Zirakpur and Sukha of Banur, eyewitnesses said.

The police said the students had come from outside to nominate office-bearers of the students’ body in the college. The injured, however, claimed they had come to get admission in the college and were not outsiders.

The police has registered a case under Sections 324, 348 and 506 of the IPC.



350 fake cassettes seized
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 26
The police has seized more than 350 fake audio and video cassettes from two residents of Sector 15 here yesterday.

The police team led by CIA Inspector, Rajiv Deswal had received information that Vivek Kapoor and Gaurav Kapoor were dealing in fake audio and video cassettes. As many as 354 fake audio and video cassettes, computer writer and cassette and CD packing were seized from them. A case under various sections of the Copy Right Act has been registered.

Two arrested: The police has arrested Joginder Singh and Bishambhar Nath from Kalka on the charges of disrupting peace at a public place. They have been booked under Section 160 of the IPC.

Accident: At least two persons were seriously injured in a head-on collision between two cars near the HUDA nursery in the Industrial Area, this evening. The cars ( HR-03D-1730 and PB-44A-8800) collided with each other and one of the cars overturned. Mr M.L. Jain and Mr Shammi Sharma, drivers of the two cars, received injuries .

Thieves held: The police has arrested two more members of an inter-state gang of car thieves from Bhiwani. The accused, Randhir Singh and Satbir Singh, were arrested yesterday by the special wing of the police. They were presented before a local court today and given a police remand till August 30.

One injured: Ms Kiran Kapoor was injured when her moped was hit by a scooter in Old Panchkula yesterday. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.

Woman hurt: A 56-year-old woman received serious head injuries after she fell from a cycle rickshaw while she was trying to push off two unidentified scooter borne youths who snatched the purse from her fellow passenger last evening in Sector 21. The victim, Ms Prabha, a resident of Yamunanagar, was here to attend to her father who is admitted to a private hospital and is awaiting by-pass surgery.

As per police sources, Ms Prabha and her sister, Ms Rajni, a resident of Sector 21, were returning home on a rickshaw. At around 8.10 pm two scooter-borne youths snatched the purse of Ms Rajni containing Rs 13,000 and some gold ornaments. Ms Prabha fell from the rickshaw. She was taken to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, from where she was referred to the PGI. However, she was discharged from the PGI today.

Theft cases: Mr Larans Malik, a resident of Sector 38, reported to the police that thieves broke into his house and decamped with gold ornaments and Rs 5,000 last morning. Mr Chandeshwar, a resident of Gas Colony, Darwa, also reported to the police that someone stole Rs 3,000 and some clothes from his residence on August 21. Two cases have been registered.

Meanwhile, Mr Ajayvir Singh Gill, a resident of Sector 33, reported with the police that his Maruti Gypsy (CH-03-E-0281) was stolen from his residence on the night of August 24. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Five held: Two youths, Rahul Pathania of Sector 45 and Anoop Kumar of Sector 20 were arrested allegedly for eve-teasing from near the YMCA, Sector 11, last evening. They were arrested under Sections 294 and 34 of the IPC.

There persons — Ram Parkash and Ratti Lal of Palsora Colony and Dukh Narain of Maloya Colony — were arrested under various sections of the Excise Act as they were allegedly consuming liquor on a public place.

Eve-teasing: In a major drive against eve-teasing, the Chandigarh police today registered over 20 cases of eve-teasing in the city. Policdemen in plain clothes were posted outside colleges, schools, bus stands and local bus stops. The cases have been registered under Section 294 of the IPC and 18 persons have been arrested.



Suicide bid by woman
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, August 26
A woman tried to take her life by setting her clothes on fire in Phase IV here today.

Ms Rajni (27), mother of a five-month-old child, was taken to the Civil Hospital here with 90 per cent burns from where she was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh.

It is reported that in the morning when everybody in the house had left for work and her mother-in-law had gone to a mandir, Rajni, who was working with NABARD, went to a bathroom and poured kerosene on herself and set her clothes on fire. When her mother-in-law came back from the mandir, she was smoke coming out of the bathroom in the back courtyard and the back gate was closed. By the time she entered the house, Rajni was lying on the floor with serious burn injuries.



‘Nirma Shudh Salt’ returns with a bang
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
Nirma Limited has re-launched ‘Nirma Shudh Salt’. Announcing the re-launch of ‘Nirma Shudh Salt’, Mr Hiren Patel, Chairman and Managing Director, Nirma Consumer Care Limited, said that it had re-launched Nirma Shudh Salt in an entirely new moisture-proof pack to retain its original qualities and thus provide consumers with vacuum evaporated, extra free flow salt.

Nirma Shudh Salt is vacuum evaporated unlike other branded salts, which are sun dried in the salt fields and then refined. The vacuum evaporation process removes all unwanted materials and impurities to give pure, white, free flowing salt. The entire process — right from pumping of seawater to the packing of crystalline salt in poly bags, is totally devoid of human contact.

The salt is now being offered in a new eye-catching and colourful pack. The moisture-proof pack is available in 1 kg denomination.

Fem launches Clearway

Fem Care Pharma Ltd., leading manufacturers of beauty and healthcare products, had launched Clearway — ready-to-use wax strips. Introduced for the first time in India, these imported (from Europe), pre-coated, reusable, double-sided, ready-to-use wax strips are so easy and convenient to use that women can now wax any unwanted facial and body hair without any fuss.

Clearway wax strips remove hair from the roots resulting in delayed re-growth of hair. The strips are hygienic and safe for the skin and the facial wax strips are specially designed, since the face skin is completely different. Each pack of Clearway contains 6 double-sided wax strips and each strip can be reused at least 4-6 times.

Clearway Wax Strips are priced at Rs 96 for body strips and Rs 60 for facial strips and are available at all leading outlets across the country. 



PNB launches ‘lending to traders’ week
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
Punjab National Bank began celebrations of a special week for “lending to traders” today.

A function was held at the PNB, Consumer Financial Cell branch, Sector 22, to mark the launch. Mr Sushil Suri, manager of the branch, said that now the PNB would advance up to Rs 20 lakh for purchase of shops by traders and could also finance for renovation/ airconditioning of shops, purchase of utility vehicles, etc. The bazaars coming at petrol stations could also get financial assistance. The bank was extending working capital loan at 20 per cent of the projected sales at low interest rates. For small traders, the bank was extending composite term loans up to Rs 5 lakh. The rate of interest was 11.5 per cent for limits up to Rs 2 lakh.

The consumer finance cell branch had been set up to extend quick finance under retail lending schemes like car loans, housing loans, education loans etc.

The bank was extending overdraft limits up to Rs 25 lakh against mortgage of immovable property to traders without asking for monthly stock statement and financial date. The branch was extending loans up to Rs 5 crore to property owners against future lease rentals up to 80 per cent of lease rent for the next three years.


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